Posts Tagged ‘Lock Poker’

Full Tilt Poker gets Player Segregation Right

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

One of the bigger poker stories from last week involved Full Tilt Poker rolling out their ‘New to the Game’ tables. The games are meant to help new and/or recreational players get used to real money poker without being throwing into shark-infested waters (a.k.a. player segregation).

New to the Game tables are open to any real money player, they’re offered in low stakes NL Hold’em and Omaha ring games/tournaments, and players can try these tables for 2,000 cash game hands or 75 tourneys. Additionally, New to the Game tables run at a slower pace and players can only try two tables at a time.

The key in all of this is that players can only participate in 2,000 ring game hands or 75 tournaments. And this is where Full Tilt gets the idea of player segregation right, versus other rooms like Party Poker and Lock Poker.

Both Party and Lock run similar player segregation models where they prevent winning grinders from competing against losing players. In Party’s case, they didn’t even warn players about segregation; they just hid the losing players from winners and certain people happened to notice. In either case, there is no limit on how long the players are divided up, which really punishes winners.

Full Tilt, on the other hand, puts a restriction on how long players can try the New to the Game tables. Once the 2k cash game hands or 75 tourneys are up, people are forced to “graduate” to the regular games. What’s more is that everybody has a chance to try these tables, rather than being restricted to losing players.

Segregation is still in the early stages in the online poker world. So it’ll be interesting to see if more sites take a similar approach to the matter as FTP.

Lock Poker leaves Merge Network and purchases Cake

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The recent troubles between Lock Poker and their network, Merge Gaming, seemed to have finally boiled over. Lock has now announced that they’re leaving Merge, and making a big purchase in the way of the Cake Poker Network. Lock Poker CEO Jennifer Larson made the following statement about her site’s big moves:

We are very excited at the prospect of driving the product, marketing and overall vision of the network. It is a dream come true. Merge was a great stepping stone for us but we have outgrown them. We really need to forge our own path to continued success. The only way to do this is to stay true to our of core philosophy: partnering with our players.

The comment about Lock having outgrown Merge is particularly telling in all of this, and it seems like a thinly-veiled insult too. Back in early April, Lock Poker was excited about holding their first major tournament series – LockOPS. This event was set to offer $2 million over the course of 33 poker tournaments, until it was stopped by Merge Gaming on April 23rd.

Lock wasn’t happy about this at all, and no specific reasons were ever given for what caused Merge to halt LockOPS. This being said, it’s interesting timing that Lock would leave their former network just a couple of weeks after the disagreement over LockOPS.

One thing that’s worth watching in this story is how both poker entities do following their split. Lock is one of the biggest sites on Merge – the biggest according to them – and this will take a huge chunk out of the network’s traffic. Going further, many will be interested in how Lock Poker does on their own, with the Cake Network as a new asset.

DOJ really after Merge Network?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

One of the biggest poker stories to surface in the month of September is how the US Department of Justice is supposedly targeting the Merge Gaming Network, which includes Lock Poker, Carbon Poker, RPM Poker and others. The story broke from a website called Subject Poker as the writer, Noah Stephens-Davidowitz, said that a source gave him information on the potential bust.

Before we get into the specifics, it’s worth mentioning that this source was never actually mentioned in the story. In short, the writer put this article into question before it even got started with the anonymous source. Essentially, using anonymous sources like this isn’t far off from what tabloids and Hollywood gossip magazines do before printing an outrageous story like, “Arnold Swarzenegger pregnant with Twins!”

Moving to the actual article, Noah claimed the source told him that the US Attorney’s Office in Maryland was hot on Merge’s trail. He wrote:

According to our sources, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland plans to seize the assets of payment processors who facilitated transactions between the Merge Network and its US customers. It is unclear exactly which payment processors are reportedly being targeted, whether indictments are planned in addition to seizures, or whether the DOJ intends to seize domain names as well.

The sad part about all of this is that people actually took the article and its unnamed source at face value, and rushed to make withdrawals. This is definitely bad news for a host of reasons, including the fact that Merge Gaming has already had a difficult time processing all of the new customers. The influx of withdrawals certainly aren’t going to help matters. Going further, other poker sites have started to question whether or not Subject Poker has a hidden agenda by writing this malicious article.

PokerNewsBoy writer Gerry Poltorak said that the anonymous source also contacted him on Skype after Poltorak bashed Subject Poker. Poltorak wrote the following about what the source said when pressed for information:

Finally, I even offered to retract my article if this guy could provide any proof at all who he is:

4:24:04 PM] Robert: its all sealed
[4:24:08 PM] Robert: i can’t
[4:24:14 PM] Gerry Poltorak: id be happy to look over the proof and retract my post backing noah up
[4:24:54 PM] Robert: i can’t send any docs
[4:24:58 PM] Robert: on merge
[4:24:59 PM] Robert: sorry
[4:25:05 PM] Robert: i gotta run for now

So…he can send this stuff to Noah, but not to me? It’s sealed, but Noah got them.  Right.

Gambling911 was another doubter of this story’s legitimacy as they wrote:

SubjectPoker.com posted an article last week that was full of obvious agendas looking to take down either the Merge Poker Network or one of its main skins.

“We suspect the later,” said Costigan.

“It’s not so much the Merge Poker Network per se that is the target of this smear campaign, but one of its larger skins and we will leave it at that,” Costigan said.